Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

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PsychicMonk
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by PsychicMonk » July 9th, 2017, 7:10 pm

thebruce wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:23 pm
and hopefully well-designed grid-based maps
I wouldn't count on grid based maps. In some of the last articles/interviews they replaced grid based movement with node based movement. So "steps" don't need to be aligned on a grid and turns don't need to be 90 degrees.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Zombra » July 9th, 2017, 9:51 pm

Woolfe wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:20 am
Zombra wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:09 pm
For whatever it's worth, Fargo was loudly hustling for "Hearthstone-like" combat during the crowdfunding campaign. In that regard at least, this was not a bait-and-switch.
My issue is not actually with the combat etc, my issue is with the seeming world changes. I only barely played the original, but it had a lot more standard fantasy fare. Now it seems like a lot of that IP is being abandoned. I have lost a degree of faith in InXile, so I no longer trust that the flavour will be there anymore.
Well ... we also knew that the flavor would be very different just two days into the kickstarter - again, unless we were kidding ourselves.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Drool » July 9th, 2017, 10:00 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 9:51 pm
Well ... we also knew that the flavor would be very different just two days into the kickstarter - again, unless we were kidding ourselves.
I expected some changes. Oddly enough, aside from the annoying-sounding combat, it's the lore changes that bother me most. The games were never especially heavy in lore, but BT3 had some fantastic lore, but inXile seems eager to throw it away. This especially bugs me because Thief of Fate is my favorite of the three.

Brian... I know you were integral to BT3, but you really should play it again or watch a let's play of it. There's some amazing writing in there and you're throwing it all away. In game, Tarmitia made sense. Fighting Nazis worked. We don't need to go back there in BT4, but don't burn down everything BT3 did just because of one realm.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » July 9th, 2017, 10:20 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 9:51 pm
Woolfe wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:20 am
Zombra wrote:
July 8th, 2017, 8:09 pm
For whatever it's worth, Fargo was loudly hustling for "Hearthstone-like" combat during the crowdfunding campaign. In that regard at least, this was not a bait-and-switch.
My issue is not actually with the combat etc, my issue is with the seeming world changes. I only barely played the original, but it had a lot more standard fantasy fare. Now it seems like a lot of that IP is being abandoned. I have lost a degree of faith in InXile, so I no longer trust that the flavour will be there anymore.
Well ... we also knew that the flavor would be very different just two days into the kickstarter - again, unless we were kidding ourselves.
Faeries, wil o wisp, horses, giant snakes, Goblin looking beasties, only the magic users really stand out as particularly different. The Gaelic look notwithstanding. Skara Brae was a city of many races wasn't it? and we see fuck all of it in that clip. Indeed Fuck all of the Party itself.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 10th, 2017, 5:58 am

Lucius wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 4:53 pm
On some levels, I'd hope very little. He has not been involved in game design since 1986. Even then, the design was just a hodgepodge of ripped ideas from PnP games. This man was no revolutionary in the games industry. From recent interviews, it seems to me he doesn't even play games anymore so he's even useless as a couch designer. Since then he's been involved in bible study and ethics. I could see his professional background having some use as an advisor to story components. Maybe he can help with retaining the feel of the classics, if he can even remember what they felt like, considering he was involved in those games more than half his life ago. I certainly wouldn't let him anywhere near the game mechanics at all. Honestly, considering what he's done with his life for the last 30 years, I have no idea why he got involved. Was it due to the nostalgia of working on something that reminds him of his childhood, or was it money? I don't have high hopes anyway.
That's a whole lot of negative speculation thrown about.
We don't know. All we know is he was the main designer of the classic BT, and he's on board again. That's all. With all the concerns we have over the "new" BT4, this is the closest thing we have to hope that the "new" will not be such a big stray from the "old". That's why I said "I'm curious to know" (instead of making wild assumptions, valid or not).

PsychicMonk wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 7:10 pm
thebruce wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:23 pm
and hopefully well-designed grid-based maps
I wouldn't count on grid based maps. In some of the last articles/interviews they replaced grid based movement with node based movement. So "steps" don't need to be aligned on a grid and turns don't need to be 90 degrees.
I didn't get that at all. Repeatedly it's been said the player can lock to the grid.
Article: "We even allow you to keep on a grid-based system," Fargo says. "There's something to be said for the precision of true-mapping. When things are just pure open world, it's a different mapping sequence than when I can know exactly what square I'm on. So that's another option here, that you can lock onto a grid and know where you are, even though it looks like free movement. Which it is—you can have it either way, basically."
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by PsychicMonk » July 10th, 2017, 6:26 am

thebruce wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 5:58 am
I didn't get that at all. Repeatedly it's been said the player can lock to the grid.
Article: "We even allow you to keep on a grid-based system," Fargo says. "There's something to be said for the precision of true-mapping. When things are just pure open world, it's a different mapping sequence than when I can know exactly what square I'm on. So that's another option here, that you can lock onto a grid and know where you are, even though it looks like free movement. Which it is—you can have it either way, basically."
I also really hope that we get grid based maps but some time ago the term "grid based" changed to "node based" in the interviews/articles I read.
Something like:
article:"While the video does feature the player in free movement mode, you will be able to traverse the entire game using only grid movement – that’s because the grid is actually a web of nodes now, which allows it to follow irregular terrain more closely."
This got me thinking after all the other changes.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 10th, 2017, 6:46 am

I do remember that, but the mention felt like an outlier, so I imagined how 'node' would fit into a 'grid' system. Perhaps more along the lines of jumping from some place A to place B, but both are still located in a grid-mappable system; or that the map was more like stretches of traversible terrain with large regions of unused 'grid' that don't get mapped (unlike BT maps where most every grid space is traversible even if there's just a wall between them).

ie, maps more akin to the city maps - still a grid, but only traversible are the streets, and there are portions that are unreachable (eg 'behind' buildings, between them and the map edge). Who knows. Maybe some update they'll give us an example of a map - I'd love for a kiskstarter update to eventually provide a sample map of the basic Skara Brae town (no big spoilers, obv).
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by PsychicMonk » July 10th, 2017, 7:11 am

I guess we have to wait for some example maps. The node based approach would allow them to e.g. place nodes at different distances or to follow a curved path while walking forward. I hope that those of us who would like to will be able to map the game using paper and a pen.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by ZiN » July 10th, 2017, 8:06 am

thebruce wrote:
July 9th, 2017, 2:23 pm
I'm curious to know what sort of influence Cranford will have in the game development. That was actually one of the more exciting recent announcements, if only because of the more direct connection to the classics (original) now within the doors of the development team. But to what degree? And does he share the same sentiment about the classics (retaining their feel) that many of us do? Time will tell...
I'd hope that he at least would design a dungeon, just like Monte Cook and the RPG Super Team... :roll: Then we can see which dungeon is the best. I too would like to know, what he will be doing, if anything at all, and it's not just a name-drop to give us something to chew on.
PsychicMonk wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 7:11 am
I guess we have to wait for some example maps.
Well, we will get to look at the grid-based movement in one of the upcoming updates, since Brian is excited to show it to us:

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by PsychicMonk » July 10th, 2017, 12:38 pm

ZiN wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 8:06 am
Well, we will get to look at the grid-based movement in one of the upcoming updates, since Brian is excited to show it to us
I'm more interested in the map layouts. To me it boils down to whether the layouts are kind of grid based or not.
If the layouts are totally not grid based and the nodes are added after the maps are done to enable an "on rails"-movement then
to me the node based movement would be more of a hinderance. In that case I will probably stick to free movement and most certainly won't try to map the game on paper.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 10th, 2017, 12:45 pm

For sure, the value of mapping is only there if the maps are 'mappable'. I would not map the Doom levels. But if Wolf3D were a grid-based RPG like BT, I'd map those levels. :) And if the maps are automapped, depending on how much info is automated, that certainly takes away the fun of full manual mapping. In BT3 it was helpful a bit for walls and doors, but I often ignored the automap; it actually made a little more work to map because of looking in two places for info instead of just the one. But anyway...
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by demeisen » July 10th, 2017, 1:04 pm

PsychicMonk wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 12:38 pm
To me it boils down to whether the layouts are kind of grid based or not.
If the layouts are totally not grid based and the nodes are added after the maps are done to enable an "on rails"-movement then
to me the node based movement would be more of a hinderance. In that case I will probably stick to free movement and most certainly won't try to map the game on paper.
I can't seem to find the reference now, but I think I read something saying this system is meant to allow oldschool graph paper type mapping if you want to do so. So, presumably they wouldn't stray terribly far from anything mappable that way. I assume there would also be a way to disable in-game mapping features, if you mean to make them by hand.

Somewhere I still have my graph paper maps painstakingly made while playing BT1 in the 80's, but personally, I'm not keen to repeat that experience :D. Some things are best left in the past. Still, I'm glad they're adding this for the people who want it. It takes development effort and time to do it, but it'll help make the game different from your typical 3D-engine based RPG.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Zombra » July 10th, 2017, 1:15 pm

Yeah, the recent PC Gamer 'first look' was very explicit that BT4 is grid-based, not node-based. It's also been mentioned quite a few times during predevelopment and development, but that recent article makes me feel good that they are sticking to it. The game will be fully "graph paper compliant"! :)
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Dork Mage » July 10th, 2017, 2:50 pm

Supposedly graph-able (and stated by someone directly involved with design):

From PC Gamer (first look): Creative director David Rogers explains that in level design, everything is aligned to a grid, so fans can break out the graph paper and map their own dungeons if they wish. "They can play on hardcore mode and be able to orient themselves in a dungeon, and have a sense that maybe there's a secret room behind here, because I've mapped this out and I can tell there's a gap, and I feel like there might be something behind this wall," he says.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by demeisen » July 10th, 2017, 4:30 pm

Zombra wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 1:15 pm
Yeah, the recent PC Gamer 'first look' was very explicit that BT4 is grid-based, not node-based. It's also been mentioned quite a few times during predevelopment and development, but that recent article makes me feel good that they are sticking to it. The game will be fully "graph paper compliant"! :)
Nice. It's a little weird: I doubt I'll make my own maps (been there, got the T-shirt), but I'm still glad they're doing it.

So far, the mechanics mostly seem to be headed in a nice direction: turn based, graph-paper mappable, party blobber with some interesting sounding combat dynamics.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Lucius » July 10th, 2017, 6:56 pm

Nodes just means being able to go kitty corner on the grid, instead of forward, right, you could just go diagonally. It should still map the same, as long as the grid lines up with a compass so you can tell when you are moving diagonally or in a straight line.

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

So in the above you can go from 8->5->6 and you can also move 8->6. It's still a grid, just the movement is different. This would be my guess by nodes that will work with graph paper.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » July 10th, 2017, 10:25 pm

Lucius wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 6:56 pm
Nodes just means being able to go kitty corner on the grid, instead of forward, right, you could just go diagonally.
But who is to say that such nodes are equidistant apart? All of the Myst games were node based (to good effect); but moving to the next node could easily mean moving in an unpredictable distance or direction.

Edit: Some examples...
Image
Image

**I'm not against nodes per se... Limited diagonal is a plus, but I'd not want to see the utility of the (predictable) grid mechanic lost due to mapping mistakes, or inconsistent use.

(Of course it should go without saying, that grid based for grid sake alone... is pointless. One would hope to be able to use it for deduction, and puzzle solving; and not just for taking the next step—in a straight line.)

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 11th, 2017, 6:04 am

Lucius wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 6:56 pm
So in the above you can go from 8->5->6 and you can also move 8->6. It's still a grid, just the movement is different. This would be my guess by nodes that will work with graph paper.
That's more like what I had been considering was mean by the one mention of nodes. The maps are still grid-based, but you could potentially move from A to B not via single cardinal steps. Like, the map may visually depict a large circular room, and some movements might have you jump from forward-facing to right facing a few spots over as you moved and hugged the curve (eg). Who knows, we'll find out soon.

(per the above, it comes back to literal depiction of areas vs the abstractness of the classics - and there is a big difference in the type of immersion one experiences between the two; it's either primarily visual or imagined, and BT4 still looks to be headed towards the visual/literal, which I'm not a huge fan of, but if they can make it work....)

Gizmo wrote:
July 10th, 2017, 10:25 pm
**I'm not against nodes per se... Limited diagonal is a plus, but I'd not want to see the utility of the (predictable) grid mechanic lost due to mapping mistakes, or inconsistent use.
Yes. Diagonal wouldn't make sense unless you could visually look that angle too, which means 8 directions, and it can throw some difficult movement mechanics into the mix.
(Of course it should go without saying, that grid based for grid sake alone... is pointless. One would hope to be able to use it for deduction, and puzzle solving; and not just for taking the next step—in a straight line.)
Yes. Which is likely why they emphasized the non-gridness of the visuals (and it's apparent with some of the environment designs we've seen), yet is still mappable on the grid. I imagine any of the BT1-2 cities being all grid laid out, but the buildings now having a much more fluid appearance, despite being generally aligned to the 4 cardinals. You can still turn towards a single building on the grid space and map it as 'door'.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by PsychicMonk » July 11th, 2017, 7:11 am

I'm satisfied as long as the map layouts are grid based. The way you choose to move on the map (free movement or grid/node based) will probably be just a question of taste. From an objective point of view you have to be able to find the same secrets either way without having any real advantage choosing one way over the other.
Last edited by PsychicMonk on July 11th, 2017, 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » July 11th, 2017, 8:08 am

I keep coming back to the literal vs abstracted issue. It's going to be a big leap being able to "see" everything visuall rather than imagining it by the content of the scroll text. I think one other aspect of the mapping experience was that you had more of a tangible opportunity to visualize mentally what it was you were exploring, depending on your mapping style.

I have some maps from Dragon Wars, and I think I did a few from BT, where I redrew the birds-eye maps with more literal interpretations of the objects and buildings. It's fun with cities especially.

But it's really the difference between paper & pencil RPG with the bare minimum literally depicted, and having the environment laid out in a real-world style for you to move about in freely. Both are entirely legitimate gaming experiences, so it'll be interesting to see how BT4 "feels" with the mix of mostly-literal visuals (grid-designed) combined with abstract movement on the grid.
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